£9 Million Allocated to Oxford University’s Fight Against Cancer

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 15, 2024


The University of Oxford has been awarded £9 million from Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the largest cancer research charity in the world, to support the next generation of scientists and doctors in their cancer treatment research.

Over the next five years, CRUK will invest this money to train early-career clinician-scientists. Overall, the charity will allocate a total of £58.7 million to nine research centers, including the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, Erudera.com reports.

Academic lead for the clinical academic training program in Oxford, Mark Middleton, expressed delight at the additional funding of CRUK, saying that the greatest progress in cancer treatment research is made when clinicians and scientists work together.

“Cancer Research UK’s funding means not only that our doctors and medical students can train as scientists, but also that our scientists will understand better how to apply their work to the benefit of patients. This will accelerate progress towards our goal of beating cancer together,” he added.

Usually, clinicians take time out of their medical training to pursue PhD studies before returning to their chosen specialized training.

In its statement announcing the funding, the University of Oxford voiced concerns about the current pressure on the healthcare system and the lack of financial support, which results in many clinicians not returning to research after qualifying as consultants.

To address this issue, Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Academic Training Programme offers flexible training options, mentorship and networking opportunities to support those who want to be involved in cancer treatment research.

Commenting on the funding, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, highlighted the important role that clinicians have in scientific research, with their knowledge gained from experiences of treating those affected by cancer.

“We need all our doctors and scientists to be able to reach their full potential, no matter their background. That’s why we are continuing to provide flexible training options for early-career clinician scientists,” Mitchell said.

According to a 2023 survey on clinical research workforce conducted by the charity, 74 percent of research staff said it was harder for them to carry out research in a timely manner over the past 18 months. Moreover, seven in ten respondents said it took more work to meet recruitment targets.

Findings showed that 78 percent of responses indicated that wider pressures on health services were a substantial or extreme barrier.

Additionally, 58 percent of respondents and 64 percent of healthcare professionals (HCPs) described lack of accountability and priorities at senior levels of health service as “substantial or extreme research barriers.”

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